Dante Sculptures

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(from Dante Press Release)  A Window on the World

Like many of his contemporaries, the award-winning Swiss artist Dante Rubli has sought to
express his artistic talents in a number of dif ferent ways. Subsequently, the stor y of his life and the results of his work are both interesting and varied.

In 1984, having completed his apprenticeship as a panel-beater and sheet-metal worker, Dante entered
the Swiss Master Craftsman Championship in his hometown of Bern. The competition involved constructing an object in sheet-metal from a plan, and Dante was voted the winner. Thereafter, he was invited to represent Switzerland at the World Championship in Osaka, Japan, where he finished a highly credible fifth.

The participation in the two competitions proved to be a defining moment in his career, as he determined to pursue his talent for design and construction from this moment.

Dante travelled to America, where he worked in Los Angeles, and here he was involved in the rebuilding and renovation of luxur y cars, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, but would spend much of his free time making his own clothing and designing furniture. During this period he developed a greater understanding of all aspects of design and production, as well as honing his remarkable skills, before returning to Switzerland.

Design by Dante was formed in 1991, and the company was engaged in a variety of projects. Exhibition stands with complete display areas were built for several events, while restaurants, shops and offices were also designed and fitted. Dante produced trophies and works of art. In 1996 the company was commissioned to design and manufacture a trophy for the prestigious Swiss Master Chef Championship; Dante’s innovative domestic products were featured on a regular basis in various German and Swiss interior design magazines, and a reputation for outstanding craftsmanship was established.

Part of the company’s remit covered the restoration of classic cars, and in 1996 Dante was asked to design and build the world’s fastest ‘hatchback’ for a noted German businessman. The result was the creation of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Shooting Brake, which is now on exhibition at the Lucerne Museum of Transport. This incredible piece of ar tistr y led to a flood of enquiries for Dante’s services, and the renovation of a number of classic and limited edition cars followed. Having undertaken work for an important American customer on one of the original aluminium bodied Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing sports cars, Dante conceived the idea of producing a sculpture of the iconic vehicle.

Dante asked his friend, Claude Picasso, the son of Pablo Picasso, if he would allow him to borrow his father’s original car so as to develop this idea. With the car at his disposal, as well as a copy of the original 1954 plan, Dante created two sculptures. These limited edition works of art were produced as both full scale, 1:1, and half scale, 1:2, interpretations of the car, and were finished in gold.

The two sculptures were premiered at the Top Marques Monaco 2009 exhibition, where a host of international celebrities, and H.S.H., Prince Albert II of Monaco, acclaimed Dante’s work. Indeed, such was the success that for the 2010 Top Marques show, a new model was made as part of a series of sculptures depicting iconic sports cars.  The Aston Martin DB5, which was made famous in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, was produced as a quarter scale, 1:4, interpretation of the vehicle. The new sculpture was unveiled by the actor, Sir Roger Moore, a former incumbent in the role of secret agent James Bond, and the response from the media was overwhelming.

Such was the demand for the new artwork that Dante appeared as a guest in Cannes during the world famous film festival, and in London and Florence during other prestigious shows, and in Miami, where at the opening event for Art Basel Miami his sculptures stole the show.

With the series firmly established, the third vehicle was selected, and few would argue with the choice: the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO. The new sculpture was unveiled by the famous Ferrari collector, and British television and radio presenter, Chris Evans, during the 2011 edition of the Top Marques show. As owner of an original 250 GTO, chassis number 4675 SA, Chris Evans was the ideal person to lift the veil, and the new 1:8 scale interpretation of Enzo Ferrari’s greatest creation was revealed to the world.

Among the other attendees were the Stieger family, who kindly made their Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 3589 GT. The prestigious event in Monaco was attended by a host of celebrities, as well as H.S.H., Prince Albert II, who has been a regular visitor at Dante’s world premieres.

Following this success, Dante made his American debut at the world famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which is held annually in Monterey California. It was a fitting venue, as this year’s main theme was the 250 GTO, with twenty-one of the original cars being present during the course of the event. A host of celebrities and sports personalities were present, and took time to visit Dante and to compliment him on the quality of his artwork. Indeed, such was the interest from the major news networks that Dante also appeared on billboards in Times Square, New York. Thus, the fusion of art and outstanding automotive design will continue to enthral a worldwide audience.

Design by Dante – Elegance and Emotion
Design by Dante GmbH • Switzerland
Murtenstrasse 34 • CH-3202 Frauenkappelen
Tel. +41 31 920 02 30 • Fax +41 31 920 02 32
info@dantedesign.ch • www.dantedesign.ch